Money & Career

Are you worried about your parents’ finances?

I had lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago — a young professional with a growing family and a wife who looks after their kids full time. He was telling me about his father-in-law, who recently retired after taking some heavy losses on his RRSP during the financial crisis. He’s got no company pension plan, no life insurance and reduced CPP and OAS because he’s always been self-employed.

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I had lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago — a young professional with a growing family and a wife who looks after their kids full time. He was telling me about his father-in-law, who recently retired after taking some heavy losses on his RRSP during the financial crisis. He’s got no company pension plan, no life insurance and reduced CPP and OAS because he’s always been self-employed. It’s a concern for my friend and his wife, who are homeowners focused on raising their growing family. He’s not sure what he’s going to do or how much he can help at this stage of his life.

As the baby-boomer generation gets ready to retire, one thing is becoming very clear — a heck of a lot of them don’t have enough money to stop working. This poll by RBC, for example, says there’s been a big jump in the number of retirees returning to the workforce because they need the income. And I recently wrote this blog post about the large numbers of seniors declaring bankruptcy.

I actually know quite a few people who are worried about what will happen to their parents when they get too old to work — can they support themselves financially? And if not, what then?

I’ve read financial planning articles on how to talk to your parents about their estate and wills, etc. — but these days, people are just as likely to face the opposite conversation: having to talk to your parents about how they’re going to put food on the table and handle any big health, drug or dental bills that come up.

This is clearly something you’re not going to see in those “Freedom 55” posters plastered all over your bank branch.

Are you worried about your parents’ financial future? And if so, what are you doing about it? I’d like to hear what you have to say…